The US Agency for International Development (USAID) signed an agreement on Tuesday with the Dal Dairy Factory to provide locally sourced, pasteurised milk for 5,308 malnourished school children in Red Sea state.
The agreement is part of a public-private partnership to improve education and nutrition through dairy distribution. According to a nutrition survey released in January 2014, eastern Sudan recorded the highest rate of malnutrition in the country.
Malnutrition hinders children from achieving their potential in school and can have lifelong negative consequences. In Red Sea, global acute malnutrition – measured by the mid-upper arm circumference – was recorded at 47 per cent. This is well above the 15 per cent maximum threshold that indicates a critical situation, according to USAID.
The Dal Dairy Factory has supported Sudan’s School Milk Programme since 2011 by providing 17,000 underprivileged students in the greater Khartoum area with daily servings of milk. The model will expand to primary school children in Red Sea state.
This USAID-Dal Food alliance is an example of the increasingly common public-private partnerships designed to assist underprivileged communities.
“The American people want to address the underlying causes of poverty and marginalisation in Sudan, and by partnering with the private sector, we will be far more effective if we can bring our combined skills and resources to the effort,” said USAID Mission Director Dr Jeffrey Ashley.
The US Government is committed to work with the Dal Group and other like-minded business colleagues “to alleviate poverty and support economic development in Sudan”, said US Chargé d’Affaires Steven Koutsis.